Pavlos Carvalho and Louisa Lam combine to offer the Beethoven cello and piano sonatas for the Festival of Chichester, with a special night at St Paul’s Church on Friday, June 28 at 7.30pm.
Through the sonatas, Pavlos and Louisa will travel through the map of Beethoven’s extraordinary life, offering works which will show the lightness and excitement of his early days all the way through to the profound intensity of his later life.
Cellist Pavlos met Louisa when they were both teaching at Ardingly. They lost touch, and then they met again when she was working as a pianist at Guildhall.
“We met through professional channels, and we both now teach at Worth school.”
And in each other, they have found musically kindred spirits.
“She is the most flexible musician I know,” says Pavlos. “She is like an elastic band. That doesn’t immediately sound like a compliment, but it really is! She is like running water. She can turn one way one day and then the other way the next day. She will go with it, and I just absolutely trust her as a musician. If she does something one way, maybe plays slower, it is not for technical reasons. It is always for musical reasons, and you can always respect that decision.
“And she is also so absolutely laid back and lovely as a person to work with. We started doing these Beethoven sonatas four years ago, and we did a big bulk of work on them back then… though obviously you could actually spend a lifetime analysing them if you wanted to. But we actually always plan more rehearsals than we need in the end. When we meet up, it just works again. It always feels nice and fresh.
“And when you get that, you hold on to that. Very often when you are working with that type of musician, you become friends, and it is the same with Ensemble Reza (which Pavlos founded and in which he plays).
“And it is just like that with Louisa. I am so lucky to be working with like-minded people, musicians that are flexible and adaptable. That is so important.
“It does not matter how strong your principles are as a musician. It is important to be able to adapt. That is the common thing between us all. You want to be able to listen to the person that you are playing with and to respect them. It is not about imposing your ego.
“It is about having your opinion but also about listening and about adapting to what the other person is doing.”
Other music at the festival:
Friday, June 28, 7.30pm. Viva Guitarra!, St George’s Church, Cleveland Road, Chichester. Zoe Barnett and Linda Kelsall-Barnett in concert as part of the Last Friday Concerts Series 3 at St George’s. An evening of Spanish and South American guitar music from this mother and daughter team, including works by Tarrega, Villa-Lobos and Rodrigo. Tickets £10; under 18s free. Disabled access.
Saturday, June 29, 3pm. Family Concert With The Piatti String Quartet, Chichester Chamber Concerts, Vicars Hall, 12-13 South Street, Chichester.